What is a Releve?

A releve is a classical ballet term that means “raised.” The movement raises the dancer up onto the balls of the feet, making for a great calf-strengthening exercise. Outside of dance, releve is commonly practiced in Pilates and Barre.

How do you do a Releve?

  • Step 1

    Stand with first position feet, heels touching each other and toes turned out. Make sure your legs are externally rotated and your weight is even. Hold your spine long and tall, and keep your arms slightly rounded, relaxed and low in front of your body.

  • Step 2

    Press through the balls of your feet, lifting your heels to a high releve. Focus on keeping your legs strong, straight and externally rotated. Engage your core and keep your shoulders lifted and back.

How do you modify a Releve?

  • Releve for Weak Ankles

What are the benefits of a Releve?

  • Leg Strength

  • Core Strength

  • Balance

Expert opinion

Pressing into relevé into a calf raise builds the strength in your calf muscle in the back of your leg.

You will find that the reps can become difficult quickly. To get the most out of the exercise, make sure you slowly resist the movement as you lower your heels down to the floor. To advance, try the exercise on one leg at a time, with the opposite toes tapping behind the back of your ankle as your lift and lower.

Kristen Giddings,Xtend Barre in Boston

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